27 January 2010


I took Sheridan to an art studio (artBEAST) designed for kids today. And man did he LOVE it. I put some clothes on him that he's about to outgrow (so who cares how dirty they get?!).

We had too much fun painting, playing with clay, washing baby dolls in bathtubs, and playing with sand/gravel/tractors to take pictures, but I did get a few...

Here's Sheridan checkin' out another boy painting (obviously Sheridan had already worked on a few masterpieces of his own - including his shirt and face - you should have seen his tray before I cleaned it!).

The cool thing was that Sheridan could partake in EVERY activity. At times he would stand and paint at the easel or on the wall (yes, they let you paint on one of the walls!), other times he would crawl around and sit on the ground and work, or he'd sit in one of the booster seats, or he'd kneel at a table.

Here he is with his gal-pal Gracie. She's just a few months younger than Sheridan and SUPER cute!

Gracie liked painting, too :)

A close up of Sheridan's self-portrait...

And Grace painting at the easel...

This place is SO awesome. It's all about sensory play, and letting kids do whatever they want in terms of art and activities. They have two more floors that we didn't even get to - Sheridan loved the arts and crafts in this room and the water/sand/gravel activities outside in the courtyard.

And... drum roll please... Sheridan only had 2 brief pop-eye moments - here's an example of what that looks like:

He does this when he's... shall we say... "not pleased." I've written briefly before about how Sheridan has a hard time around other kids. I figured we'd give artBEAST a try and if he couldn't handle it, we'd simply leave. But he LOVED it! And only twice whimpered for a few seconds. Other than that, he crawled around with the other kids - he didn't care that 10 kids were running circles around him. And talk about LOUD! He did great today - I think he was so interested in the activities, and watching the other children play, that he forgot to be upset about it all :)

I'm so proud of Buddy. And so glad we have a cool new activity that we can do together!

Um, I think he wore himself out...

Another thing to love about this place (like I needed more!): The proceeds from ArtBeast fund programs for homeless children and youth. Every penny raised at ArtBeast goes to one of two places: back into artBEAST or into Tubman House, a residential community for homeless youth and children.

18 January 2010


Today was the first time I looked at this picture since Sheridan was born.

And it's proof that Sheridan looks more like me than he looks like some random compilation of "Down syndrome physical characteristics." He has plenty of those characteristics, but not all people with Ds have all - or the same exact - characteristics. Just more proof that our kids are more us than they are the 47th chromosome. And they are just as unique as those of us with only 46 chromosomes.

And, by the way, he has his dad's nose, cheeks, and forehead :)

08 January 2010

Awareness Campaign in Japan

Many countries are WAY behind when it comes to awareness, support, and public/institutional response to Ds. Japan happens to be one of those countries.

In honor of Japan's "Down Syndrome Day" this past Spring, a national awareness campaign was launched with 4 advertisements. I thought these were great... thanks to Monica who found them and forwarded them to me for some research I'm doing.

And you can visit the Japan Down Syndrome Network (in Japanese or English translation) if you're interested in learning more about this overseas organization.

02 January 2010

It's Phenomenal, Fabulous, and Fantastic, and It's All YOU

Dan just launched an amazing new blog called The Phenomenal, Fabulous, Fantastic Ds BlogBlog that highlights the best of our entire blogging community. Here's how he describes TPFFDSBB:

This blog is a collection of very personal stories about the singular experience of Down syndrome. The posts on this blog originally appeared on other blogs – they were written by parents of children who have Ds. These particular posts have been selected for inclusion in the Compendium of Wisdom because they are exceptional – the best of the best. They contain hard-won knowledge about pain and love, pearls of truth as valuable as any equation contained in any parchment that ever graced the shelves of the Library of Alexandria.

I am humbled and honored that he chose one of my posts for TPFFDSBB.

Check it out! And learn how YOU can help him build this amazing site to serve as a roadmap for new parents.

01 January 2010

Happy New Year

Wishing you a 2010 full of love, smiles, and laughter.